MIRI (October 13): Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah expects the return of the Miri Country Music Festival (MCMF) next month to be a another smash hit to draw crowds to Sarawak’s music festival scene.
The response to the three music festivals held in Sarawak this year has exceeded expectations and the state sees the music festivals as a boon to its tourism industry through tourism revenue from international visitors.
After a hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, MCMF is back in Miri on November 25-26 this year and will be held at the Eastwood Golf and Country Club, an event which the minister says can draw a much bigger crowd. larger than the 2,000 targeted by the organizer.
“Since the reopening of our borders this year, our music festivals – two in Kuching and one in Sibu – the crowds have doubled or tripled the number targeted and I think it will be much bigger for Miri as well,” he said. he said at a press conference here. today.
The minister was in Miri to launch the 2022 MCMF golf tournament and the club’s Buku project in a ceremony also attended by his deputy Datuk Sebastian Ting, Sarawak Tourism Board chairman Dennis Ngau, resident by Miri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf, MCMC Founder Gracie Geikie and others.
The golf tournament that promises big prizes and a fun time for golfers to play a round of golf during the day will give them the opportunity to kick back and dance to country music at the MCMF in the evening.
The Minister said that the MCMF has attracted festival-goers from all walks of life, ranging from expatriates working in Miri, Bintulu, Brunei, Sabah, visitors from neighboring countries such as Singapore, Brunei, Australia to locals from Sabah, Miri, Kuching, Bintulu and even country music enthusiasts from Lawas and Bario.
“Everyone, including the town hall and the hotels, should help promote this event and make the visitors who flock to their premises feel welcome as the spin-off would benefit the local community,” he said. declared.
Festival founder Gracie Geikie emphasized the importance of education that can be supported through music festivals.
“MCMF’s CSR initiative, ‘The Buku Project’ with the theme ‘One Book for Life’, will be a collaboration with Knewton Global Schools Miri, an international school here.
“The collection of pre-loved books will be collected from members of the public, festival-goers and also MCMF artists to be sorted and sent to two rural schools in Long Lama and Long Latei after the festival,” she said.
The organizer will also host music workshops by MCMF artists for Knewton students and will also team up with James Cook University and Curtin University to research events during MCMF.
The festival will feature Indonesia’s most popular country singer, Tantowi Yahya, who has produced 10 albums with combined sales of over three million copies.
Multi-award winning Malaysian singer, songwriter and visual artist Lyia Meta is expected to shine at this festival. She was voted Singer of the Year and Virtual Artist of the Year at the Texas Sounds International Country Music Awards last year and won World Music Artist of the Year at the Josie Music Awards in Tennessee, in the United States in 2018.
Rising star Kamal Bukhary, country music pride of Miri; evergreen Country Roads Band, Mountain Wind and Sessions Band aka sesSion: the band will be on stage.
Another highlight will be the Johnny Loda Trio (Italy/UK/Thailand) as Johnny Loda is considered one of the best rockabilly guitarists in Italy while golden voice Clay George will lead the Cambodia Country Band (USA /Cambodia), a five-band of honky-tonk heroes featuring guitarist Joe Wrigley, Steve Sutcliffe on fiddle, Dave Z on bass and Phnom Penh musical legend Oscar on drums.
Bringing a touch of Nashville to the Miri Festival, Singapore’s famed Ramon Cedillo will entertain the crowd with his distinctive style of bluesy vocals and country twang.